Texas: Drunk Driver Faces Murder Charge for Killing Unborn Baby

State   |   Sarah Terzo   |   Jun 25, 2012   |   1:28PM   |   Houston, TX

A Texas man with a long history of drunk driving convictions is now facing a murder charge in the death of an unborn baby. 

Thirty-eight-year-old Ashton Vincent Craven is facing life in prison after a car he was driving ran a stop sign and hit a Toyota Corolla driven by a pregnant woman.  The woman was hospitalized and lost her unborn child as a result of the accident. Craven was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Craven had already been convicted of DWI three times and had spent time in jail for the death of a child in 2000. In the 2000 case, he was pulling onto the shoulder to pass another car while speeding and hit a parked van. The van had had been having mechanical problems and was parked on the shoulder. The driver and passengers were waiting for a taxi when Craven’s car hit the back of the van at full speed. A child who was in the van died at the scene. Craven served only two years in jail for the crime.

Craven is now incarcerated in the Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas. Bail has been set at $200,000 for the murder charge and $20,000 for the charge of driving while intoxicated.

Americans United for Life ranks Texas as “one of the most protective states in the nation” for unborn children.  According to AUL, Texas law treats the death of an unborn child through violence as a homicide, and intentional injury to the unborn child is regarded as a felony.

Under a law signed June 20, 2003, and effective September 1, 2003, the protections of the entire criminal code extend to “an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth.” The law does not apply to “conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child” or to “a lawful medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed health care provider with the requisite consent.”

On two occasions, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a double murder conviction of a man who killed a pregnant women’s unborn children. The decisions further validate the constitutionality of the state’s unborn victims law, which pro-life advocates fought for to give justice to women and unborn children.